Erin O’Toole and Dr. Martin Winter are busy making arrangements for their wedding on Abbey Island, which belongs to Erin’s Aunt Rebecca. It’s no wonder that the village of Ballymara and, in particular, the farm of the O'Mallys are hives of activity and excitement. To the delight of the whole family, Martin’s eldest daughter Marie is returning home from Berlin for the celebrations as well. She reveals to her father that she has split up with her boyfriend and abandoned her university course in biology. Marie resists every attempt of Erin to establish a closer relationship. Erin is also having trouble with her aggressive neighbour Jack Stratton, who suddenly reneges on long-standing agreements and installs fencing around his land so that Erin no longer has access to water for her flock of sheep. Jack has undergone a radical change since the death of his wife. He lives in complete seclusion on his farm with his young daughter Emma. When she is repeatedly brought into Martin’s practice with broken bones, awful suspicions arise. Martin’s youngest daughter Paula has a problem as well – her favourite sheep Mrs. Jackson is to be sold. Despite Erin and Martin’s assurances that the ewe will be well looked after in her new home, Paula prefers to find out for herself. On the day earmarked for Mrs. Jackson’s departure, Paula sneaks into the van and drives off into the distance with the sheep and Erin’s dog Harry.